God-fearing populations correlate with ignorant populations

This is pretty interesting and has managed to generate a bit of controversy in the blogosphere over at Science Blogs. I'm a big fan of PZ Myers because he confronts the ignorance inherent in much religious belief. One of his recent posts has really got some people in a tiff.
He wrote:

Isn't this a lovely map? It shows the concentration of ignorant, deluded, wicked, foolish, or oppressed victims of obsolete mythologies in the United States, with the lighter colors being the most enlightened and the dark reds being the most repressed and misinformed. Oh, it's labeled as the frequency of religious adherents, but it's the same thing.

I have to say that I am with him almost full tilt (wicked might be overly harsh) and point you to his responses.
But someone gave an even more interesting map showing Baptists as percentage of total population. Scary.


Look. It correlates so nicely with the great bastion of Southern ignorance in the United States. If we could do Pentecostals and Lutheran Synods, I bet we'd get more of the Midwest in there while most of the West, Northwest, and Northeast would remain more or less the same as Kevin Phillips's American Theocracy showed.
Is anyone really surprised that a frequency of belief is correlated to the least enlightened parts of the nation? I'm not. This map makes it even clearer.


Isn't it great to know that the allegedly most morally grounded (Read: religiously fervent) parts of the nation are those that foster the most misinformation, have some of the highest levels of poverty, the most hate crimes, highest levels of teen pregnancy and STD infection, sectarian bigotry, and scientific ignorance? Great!

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